By Phil Hecken and the SMUW crew
From an e-mail from Jason Bernard yesterday:
Well there’s a runaway winner for the top of the 5 & 1 in Happy Valley this week. In fact, I can’t imagine a better looking game all season.
— Robert Hayes (@GuitaristRobDog) September 9, 2017
— Kyle Good (@kylejgood) September 9, 2017
It was a good looking game — a damn fine looking game indeed. Yesterday Pitt broke out (for the first time ever with this uni set) road throwbacks, and they were gorgeous. I don’t think anyone, especially alumni, would be upset if Pitt just jettisoned their most recent iteration of uniforms (with one of the worst number fonts in the game), and just wore the royal blue tops for home games, and the white jerseys they wore yesterday for road games. Done and done, right?
OK, lots more to get to on the gridiron from Week Two of the NCAA Football Season, so I’ll turn this over to my brother from another mother, Terry “TJ” Duroncelet, Jr. who brings you your…
Sunday Morning Uni WatchBy Terry Duroncelet, Jr.
Second verse, same as the first.
• The MTSU Blue Raiders were lookin’ a little extra blue against Syracuse with their blue helmets (also note the NFL-style captaincy patch).
• I normally roll my eyes at any team in college football that wears white at home other than LSU, but Michigan State’s all white look is one of the best that I’ve seen, and they’re an exception in my book. Also from that same same: last season, several teams honored Michigan State punter Mike Sadler, who died in a car accident in which Nebraska punter Sam Foltz passed away from as well. Those tributes continue as Western Michigan (the Spartans’ opponent for Saturday’s game) wore these decals on the back of their helmets. There are also additional details that I recommend scoping out from the source Tweet.
• Iowa’s helmet numbers normally look like this, but it seems that they made a change (other looks in this video). It now closer resembles the font used for the basketball team and the all-black that the football team wore last year. Also, Iowa STATE was –as the Kool Kidz say nowadays– back on their bullshit on Saturday. Yuck.
• Houston wore Houston Strong helmets against Arizona. Additional photos here and more here, the latter of which courtesy of Kevin Eschenfelder/@KevinEsch1. Arizona had their own Texan tribute for the game as well.
• I don’t have a lot of hi-res photos of Minnesota vs. Oregon State, but the Gophers wore all-white against the Beavers, and the white helmets make their appearance for the first time since the 2013 Texas Bowl.
That’ll do it for this rather short Week 2. And a quick word before signing off: as most of you are aware by now, Texas was hit by Hurricane Harvey recently, and I believe Florida is getting hammered with Irma as we speak. When I was writing this column, I took a look at the comments from yesterday’s post and read one from someone named “Steven”, who wrote: “Guys – just want to thank the SMUW crew in advance of the season for all of your hard work, especially considering various family-, work- and natural disaster-related responsibilities many of you likely have. We all get to benefit from it (for free, no less) without burning a calorie.”, and it honestly made me smile and remember one of the great things about sports: in the wake of whatever’s going on in the world –be it hurricanes, wildfires, political strife, or what have you– , sports helps to become that escape from the stress of reality. Granted, we should always be aware of our own world, but it’s healthy to turn our brains off every once in a while and just reflect… even if it comes in the form of your favorite team wearing reflective helmets. I hope everyone stays safe, and I’ll see you next week.
Joe Ringham’s 5 & 1
Following in the footsteps of the original “5 & 1,” Jim Vilk, and Catherine Ryan after him, Joe Ringham is back again for 2017 to make his “5 & 1” (five good looking and one stinker) uni-vs-uni matchups. Sometimes he’ll have some “honorable mentions” and sometimes there will be more than one “bad” game. You may agree and you may disagree — these are, after all, just opinions and everyone has one. Feel free to let him know what you think in the comments section.
Good Sunday, everyone! Hope everyone enjoyed their football Saturday. Let’s get to the list…
5) Georgia at Notre Dame — Two of the most recognizable uniforms, to me, in college football. A great looking game in South Bend, and it makes me shake my head that this was just the second time these two teams have ever met.
4) Jacksonville State at Georgia Tech — I flipped past this on the TV, during the early afternoon window of games, and immediately loved what I saw. Tech looked great in their usual gold/white/gold at home and it paired up excellently with the red/red/white of the Gamecocks (and it gives me a chance to give the FCS a little love in the 5 & 1)
3) Buffalo at Army — This game just had that simple yet beautiful look to it. Army always looks good in their usual gold/black/gold home look. This classic look really paired up well against the blue/white/blue of the Bulls
2) Oklahoma State at South Alabama — We go back to Friday night for this beaut of a game. Loved OSU going black/white/orange on the road, one of my favorite looks of theirs. It matched up great against the navy/red/navy the Jaguars went with at home.
1) Pittsburgh at Penn State — Can’t go wrong with the classic, iconic home uni’s of the Nittany Lions. But, Pitt clinches this top spot with those gorgeous looking road throwbacks. A sensational looking game in Happy Valley.
+1) East Carolina at West Virginia — I have never liked this look for West Virginia, when they go mono gold. At least they went navy lid instead of the gold lid. Match it up against the white/white/purple ECU went with, and you have one ugly looking game.
That will do it for me this week. Have a great week, keep those effected by Harvey and Irma in your thoughts, and I’ll see you next Sunday.
Thanks Joe! You can follow Joe on the Twitter and let him know what you think of his choices or make a 5 & 1 suggestion of your own!
NCAA Uni Tracking
Uni Watch will again track the uniform combinations worn by the “Power 5” conferences. All of the 2016 trackers are back!
We’ve got Rex Henry (tracking the ACC), Dennis Bolt (tracking the PAC-12), Kyle Acker (tracking the Big XII), and Ethan Dimitroff (tracking the B1G AND the SEC). Rex, Dennis, and Kyle and are all returning from 2015, and Ethan is back after joining the NCAA Uni Tracking last season. Ethan has stepped into the dual role of both the B1G and the SEC.
Here are the Uni Trackers for the Power 5 Conferences:
Rex is up first today (ACC):
And now, here’s Dennis with the PAC-12:
And here is Ethan, with the SEC:
And here is Kyle with the Big XII:
Follow Kyle on Twitter here.
And here’s Ethan with the B1G:
Welcome to the 2017 Oregon Ducks Uni Tracker. This little project was originally begun way back in 2008-09 by Michael Princip, who retired after several seasons, whereupon the project was continued by Tim E. O’Brien. He, too, retired from the tracking, but the project has been ably kept up by the man who also tracks the Pac12, Dennis Bolt.
Here’s this week’s Uniform Combo for the Ducks (you can click to enlarge):
You can read about this uniform, and MUCH MORE, by checking out the Duck Tracker here!
Uni Watch News Ticker
Baseball News: Yesterday, the Arizona Diamondbacks decided the best was to celebrate their Hispanic Heritage Night was to stick a “Los” in front of D*Backs on their jerseys. Note the snakehead caps too (from Ed Kendrick). The special jerseys have a pattern on the numbers letters (from Ben Hibberd). Here’s a better shot. Looks like national flags inside. … The Seattle Mariners, on the other hand, went with Marineros on their jerseys (from Kevin Martinez).
NFL/CFL News: Here’s a pretty good article on the VICIS helmet, which its makers (and many players & the League) believe is much ‘safer’ than conventional football helmets. … Tyler Eifert (Tight End, Cincinnati Bengals) writes, “This entire protest about raising awareness for racial inequality has gotten lost in the media and turned into a debate about whether to sit or stand for the national anthem. I want to take this time to remind everyone why I stand” (from Brent Beck). … Aside from their new “retro” endzone script, the Browns have also added some sideline writing (from Robert Hayes). … This season, the Steelers will wear this Dan Rooney memorial patch (sent by many). … Edmonton Esks with alternate helmets & uniforms vs Stamps. Submitter Teddy says, “Should just keep these so they don’t look exactly like the Packers.”
College/High School Football News: Here is a little info on the symbolism featured on the Navy football uniforms (from Josh Sanchez). … Cooper High School is wearing the initials “MO” for a player that had passed away on the opposing team (from Jack).
Hockey News: The New York Islanders’ Joshua Ho Sang has a fancy new pair of skates. It’s unclear if the league will allow him to wear them. … Here’s a look at the Islanders’ practice jerseys, the first for them by adidas (via Paul). … Speaking of practice gear, yesterday we got a look at the Nasville Preds (from Casey MacDougal). … And here is a look at the Columbus Blue Jackets practice gear (from Derek McCord).
NBA News: The Phoenix Suns new uniform line has released this offseason and the team is about to reveal their new alternate jersey on September 15. Dammit, that’s a Friday.
To Our Floridian Friends…
our thoughts and prayers are with you.
A long time ago, in probably another lifetime, I was a moderator on a Hurricane Board (Central Florida Hurricane Center). As I type this, I’m reminded of a ‘little’ storm named “Charley” I wrote about that, while on a different track from Irma, looks like it will strike some of the same areas that took a major wallop from Charley. If you read that archived entry, you’ll note I somewhat tamed down the language I could have used to describe a major (albeit small in terms of circumference) hurricane. I was told the evening (August 12 — Charley would strike on Friday the 13th of August) by a retired meteorologist who assisted with the site that Charley was going to be bad — very bad — but not to get overly dramatic in my entry. Being he was both a met AND (kinda) my editor, I regret NOT stressing the immediate danger a bunch of folks were in. Charley was a Category II (CAT II) hurricane at the time, but he told me it would get to at least a CAT III and possibly, even likely, a CAT IV. It hit as a CAT IV. But I couldn’t *say* that — I had to hedge.
It’s kinda like when you’ve seen an embargoed uni, you can kinda describe it, if asked, but you can’t leak the pic (lest you’re ever given access to inside information again). Charley kinda felt like that — I’d seen the new uniform, but I couldn’t share it.
I have a bad feeling (and I hope I’m wrong) that Irma is going to be a LOT worse than Charley, and could be extremely destructive — but the storm surge is what I fear most. That’s the big killer in hurricanes. Charley was small and fast moving, Irma is huge and moving more slowly. And while she’s “only” forecasted to be a CAT III at landfall, that’s still incredibly powerful.
I’ll never forget the sleepless (literally) nights I spent during 2004 and 2005 when I was a moderator and which were probably the two most prolific back-to-back years in Atlantic Hurricane History. After all the destruction caused by Harvey, it looks like Irma will be worse.
Hard to fathom.
Stay safe all of our Florida friends. We’re all pulling for you.